post Rama show show

I should also mention the 400 class show that I had in the evening after the casino went swimmingly.

I could have used more stage time, but what's a fella to do? It does seem a bit unfair though. I mean I was responsible for about 50% of the audience in attendance. 7 friends, SEVEN, were awesome enough to come out and see the show. The people in the class who invited no one, couldn't they have just performed alone in their bedroom or something? Why do they always have to piggyback on my notoriety.


A great big thank you to all who came. And as a special treat I was even given my first pre-performance flower. And by flower I mean balloon with a green pipe cleaner attached. HAL had received a birthday balloon bouquet earlier in the day and was thoughtful enough to bring a similar gift to the show for me. She even came on stage for one part of the show, meaning I'm now allowed to say I have performed with her, thus upping my standing in the improv world (until people see me perform).

Of the two scenes I had one that involved speaking which was with a fella I have a hard time performing with sometimes. It went okay though and as usual was a good learning experience. In this instance we early on established that he was my father, we were in Vegas and he had recently killed mom. That last bit, one would think the most important part of the relationship we were trying to establish on-stage, was quickly forgotten. Oh well.

My other scene was a physical gibberish number and THAT I can handle. It felt really good. I even died in a satisfying manner. 2 minutes of stage time never felt so right.

2 major realizations came from doing the show:

1 - I have now performed improv shows twice and I get freaking hyper when I'm done. Mega adrenaline.
2 - We were talking to people on the casino bus about what we were up to that evening and it was awesome to be one of those who had a show that night.

Both things make me want to find more chances to perform and continue to improve.

I'm still up in the air over whether I want more classes, but I'm sure all that will sort itself eventually.

A day at the Rama

I have now been to four casinos in my life.

Gananoque is always a good place to start one's gambling life. I won playing roulette. Thousand Islands Casino as it's officially called, is a tiny box off the 401 with a soaring sign and a performance room in back, about the size of my bedroom, where a Blues Brothers cover band was belting it out.

I lost a bit of money at Casino du Lac-Leamy in Hull. I was there celebrating a one year anniversary. Relationships! We were down a bunch but then I noticed there had been 6 reds in a row on the roulette wheel so I bet $50 on black and won. Odds and logic not in support of the decision, but who cares.

Then there was the spur of the moment, let's drive 2 hours and across the border to Akwesasne Mohawk Casino just south of Cornwall because there's some sort of poker tournament on. Didn't win the tourney, lost more playing poker later and I think I lost at blackjack too. More importantly I learned a valuable lesson: don't loan money to gambling addict friends in a casino. Sure he paid it back, but I felt bad for enabling (also I didn't really realize what was up until the evening was drawing nigh and I was able to watch how he *ahem* played).

And now with a visit to Casino Rama this past Sunday we can make it four!

The casino trip was part of the increasingly infamous Swimprov class. Said class started as a way for musicians and non-improv performers to play and learn in a low pressure, high fun setting. Of course it's helped along by having two of the best improvisers in the city, HAL and Kayla, as coaches. (HAL is a great nickname for a number of reasons, but we'll see how it holds up, and Kayla will get one soon. I'm still searching for inspiration.)

We were at Rama, in part, to celebrate HAL's birthday. Her birthday isn't until June 6 of course, but why should that stop us from boarding a bus filled mostly with seniors? Oh, that's right. We took one of the subsidized casino coaches that had been organized through HAL's condo. Worried about fitting in we were costumed, approximating what we felt casino-bound retirees look like.

HAL had even gone so far as to have a 45 minutes chat with Betty, a condo stalwart and organizer of the trip, beforehand so we had all the hot tips.

-visit the buffet early, because it gets busy
-the Canadian buffet is vastly superior to the Chinese option
-the bread pudding is an absolute delight
-the 5 cent machines are fun
-if a machine isn't winning, try another one
-25 cent machines are actually 25 cents for each wheel, meaning they're actually 75 cents

And that's just a sampler of the tips!

Betty was right on almost all counts, except the bread pudding was a bit disappointing. The buffet as a whole was great though. I ate THREE butter tarts.

I should also mention, that after paying $6 for the bus, we were given a $10 credit on our players card, so everyone was making money. Then we left the restaurant and hit the floor.

After being confused for a while we figured out the 2 cents machines and went to town. Some of us more than others. You'd think with a 2 cent machine the games would last forever and at a low cost, but no. In order to win the big bucks you have to max bet, and that of course means betting up to 125 credits (aka 250 cents) at a time. Some people in the group were good at keeping their bets small, others were not.

I was in the latter group.

I can't help myself (those are good words to say around gambling!). I'll throw a few small wagers in, enjoy the lights and patterns, but inevitably think, Hey, what if the next one hits big and I don't max bet? Basically I'm a casino's dream customer, except that I can usually just stop. Especially when I know myself and am able to plan ahead, taking money from my wallet before leaving the house.

It's also interesting to watch some of the other people play. They might lose as much as me, but they aren't doing it try to win a pile in return. They were doing it because there was a machine in front of them with fun lights and noises and buttons that NEED TO BE PRESSED!!!

Speaking of slot machines, this was the first time I've played them since I dropped a single loonie into a machine at Lac-Leamy. The machines at Rama don't take coins, only bills and tickets. You buy in and the machine calculates how many credits you possess. When you're done playing, if you have money left, you print out another credit ticket that can be used to gamble more, or can be cashed out using a cashier machine, or even, dare I say it, a live cashier. Weird.

All the machines have trays underneath that could conceivably be used to catch untold riches in coins when you hit the big one, but instead just sit empty. When you win there're some fun tunes that play for you, becoming slightly more excited the longer the credit count up goes on. I don't know who wrote those, or how much research went into them, but they are great and have the, I would assume, desired effect of making the player want to hear more of the same.

Maybe it was just me and an irrepressible urge to dance though.

And while many machines have arms on the side that can be pulled, most people opt for the buttons up front that make all whirlies spin.

I've decided I'm not a slot machine fan. I don't have the patience to bet small for long enough that I get to play the novel bonus games they have. And I don't have the money to bet big for long enough to access the same games. Also, I don't know what the odds are set at, and while I don't think for a second it's set at ZERO CHANCE there's something alienating about having the fates controlled by an unknown algorithm. The fact you don't need to pull the arm, your wealth is tracked on printed slips and the machines feature useless coin trays is alienating as well.

I'm well aware that I'm describing modern slot machines as alienated from the human condition, just as Marx intended, but seriously. Those trays were designed to maximize the noise of plinking coins for crying out loud! Such a waste.

Table games at least give me chips to fiddle with, but when the minimum bet on those is $15, they're a big no no. Poker would have been nice, but there are a lot of people that felt the same and the poker room was rammed. That and it was a class outing that would have been defeated if I'd wandered off to play alone.

We were definitely the most 'dressed' people in attendance. I was expecting a certain amount of ridiculousness as far as good luck trinkets, funny hats and the like, but was grossly disappointed. The red bulldog I had hanging from my pocket all day not only did not bring me luck, but drew all sorts of odd stares from the hardcore gamblers around the room. Maybe it's because there's a preponderance of rural Ontarians in the crowd and you don't get the flash and sizzle of Vegas grannies.

Few people looked excited to be there. Perhaps the excitable people were at table games, but amongst the machinists if we made too much noise or were having too much fun people generally moved off or glared.

At the same time when we were getting all bent out of shape because one of us was up $4 people would sometimes appear. On more than one occasion a Chinese family arrived, different each time, but always composed of a couple aged 50-60 and a significantly older, presumed mother (in-law). At other times it was lone women who would hover, eying their chance to jump in on a winning machine. When they figured we were making all that noise over less than $5 they tended to leave.

The day's most confusing look, however, came when we were celebrating a modest uptick and I commented that I couldn't believe Kayla was up $30 000 playing the penny slots. A woman a few machines down turned and eyed us all. At the time I though she was either a) mad we were making noise, or b) trying to assess the veracity of my claims. Subsequently, I think it's something else.

She was sitting in front of a machine that has buttons and lights. She had probably deposited a pile of dough and had been moving her finger a minute amount, again and again, for hours. If that's what your eyes and brain are focused on when you turn to look at people it's not surprising that your face is blank and your eyes are empty. She probably wasn't thinking anything about us, and sure enough turned back to her screen in short order.

And I just remembered I've been to one more casino. It was the Circus Casino Edinburgh, but I can hardly count it because I was playing poker there and for me that's not gambling.

Then I lost.


fun with screen shots

Or, you should be asleep young man.


My class is having a show

Hey gang!

As some of you may be aware I've been doing improv for a wee while now and I have finally finished the "beginner" levels offered at Bad Dog Theatre.

And what better way to celebrate the accomplishment than with a class show?

I can't think of one, that's for sure.

Here's why you should come to this show:

1) I haven't talked to most of the people in my class for a few weeks.
2) I haven't done any improv in weeks.
3) All day before the show I'll be at Casino Rama and I'm liable to be tired.

Who knows what state I'll be in at show time???

Basically what I'm trying to say is there's a chance my performance will be an unmitigated disaster!!!!! Those are the best kind, so you should all come out!

4) Because you love me.

And remember, even if I'm a wreck, there's a whole other class of people who will be there to entertain you. So, really, you can't lose.

It's a pay what you can event.

Bad Dog Theatre is at 138 Danforth Ave. and it's just east of Broadview subway station.

The show starts at 8:15 pm this Sunday, March 28th. 1 hour long.

This is in the actual theatre space so let's fill 'er up!

I don't care how the show goes...well I do but more than that I want it to succeed or fail in front of more than 2 people.

I'll likely be sending out a reminder about this again before the day, but you should add it to your calendars now.


bed part two!

After more effort than I should have exerted my bed is now dressed in sheets!

First things first though.

I figure I'll be sleeping on this mattress for a while so I obviously want some form of protection. Growing up we just used an extra fitted flannel sheet underneath the regular fitted sheet, just something to add a layer between body and bed. We never had any deluxe, made for the job covers.

No luck finding such simplicity, and why would I want to when there are proper, expensive products to do the job. Uggh. How I love spending money when I'm not totally sure it's necessary. Oh well. I was at Sears and they had some fancy-pants covers 40% off, from $100!!! Too much, so I ended up grabbing a more generic version. It claims to be cotton and easily washed. Huzzah!

While looking at the mattress covers though an older lady appeared and I decided to ask her what she knew on the subject. Asking old ladies for advice in bedding departments was one of my themes for the day.

She knew that mattress covers shrink when washed, which she finds a bother. She also knew that the waterproof ones can feel sticky and gross. I'm not planning to pee my bed, so I knocked those off the list. I think she felt a bit uncomfortable, really trying to make it clear she was no expert, so I thanked her and toodled off.

I then had the great idea to mass text and see what feedback I could get that way. This was my second theme of the day; standing around in bedding departments for extended periods of time, trying to look busy while actually just texting or waiting for texts.

Thanks to all who responded, and to those who didn't, I'm sorry if I confused you. It's called outsourcing and it's for everything, even decisions.

It turns out no one has particularly strong passions on mattress coverings that aren't sheets. Some people (one person) seemed lost even with the basic notion that you'd want something else between you and your mattress.

That's kinda gross if you're keeping your mattress for any length of time. You're gross that person.

Oh well, a decision was made, and then it was off to Honest Ed's for the cheapest sheets in town!

I puzzled for a long while before selecting some 100% cotton sheets. The advice I got from both my mum (hi mum!) and an older woman who was also sheet shopping, was to go with the cotton-polyester mix. The main reason for this, APPEARANCES! You don't need to press the mix sheets after a wash.

Well, I guess I'll just have to start ironing my sheets more regularly. That is, if a wrinkly bed becomes a concern.

All the other advice I received, from the younger generation, was focused on the fact that cotton breathes. That appeals to me. Also, it turned out the colours/patterns I wanted were only available in 100% cotton. Form over function? Sure, why not.

The lady who I started chatting with at Honest Ed's was great. I think she was East Indian by descent and we went through all sorts of sheets trying to find nice ones and looking at the different materials used to make them. She didn't have her glasses so I was reading labels for her. We found a microfiber sheet option at one point. Neither of us was sure what that meant, but she gave the fabric a rub and declared it a good sheet right there.

In case you were wondering.

She was really interested in a pink set of queen sheets that were on sale, something nice to put on her bed for Easter, but she wasn't sure. They were 100% cotton and she don't want to have to press them after a wash. After talking to a sales person and determining the sale would last until Saturday she decided to come back later. Sleep on her decision, and possibly later on her decision, if you will.


But her advice was mostly about material, and I still needed to choose colours (I am good at making things last longer than they need to). I asked 4 young lasses, I would guess first year university, who were shopping for toga sheets, which pattern they liked of 3 I had pulled from the pile. They all chose the one I thought most lame, so that didn't help.

Because I live now, I took a picture using my cellphone
and emailed it to niXon rather than explain what the colours looked like in 140 characters or less. She chose the sheets I was already most fond of, saying "I think the sillier the better, really," before warning me that "sheets may be a deal breaker."

Oh well. That's a risk I'll just have to take.

And how could this bedding break any deal?
Oh man. That's great! 300 thread count of wonderful.

It reminds me of an 80s cocaine baron??? Don't ask me why this is or to support the statement in any way. Also, I'd need my bed to be round, and have polar bear and/or tiger skins for blankets.

Good thing I still need a duvet!

and because it makes me smile

Someone lifted my words in the best way possible; with full attribution!

It's nice to have something you tried to say good appreciated.

I'm worried that good's intentionality isn't obvious enough.

Now it is.


The Bob and Becky Cabaret

I've been going to a lot of shows of late.

Most of them comedy and most of them improv. Also, most of them Catch 23.

That's been a treat of a show for me (so much good improv) and I've even been working the door from time to time. Double fun, because I feel more a part of everything that's going on when I'm asked to help. And I get into shows for free!


But last Saturday I went to the Bob and Becky Cabaret.
Fun! (I don't know how to write a show review so what follows is just things that I thought about while watching or am thinking about now while I rewatch the show in my head.)

Bob Wiseman is a musician and film maker but has his fingers in all sorts of pies. Delicious and creative pies.

Becky Johnson has a poorly written Wikipedia entry, so I'll link to Sweetie Pie Press which gives you an idea of some of her crafting passions, and maybe if you look hard enough her many other things will become apparent. She's an improviser of no small skill for instance.

Bob and Becky combined to bring together their respective worlds of music and comedy, and introduce some new and fantastic things to one another and the audience that was smart enough to show up.

It was the first time I'd been to The Theatre Centre and it was awesome. You enter through a cafe and come into the space on a darkened balcony with the well-lit stage and seating below you. The result is an instant feeling that you're going to see something mysterious and significant. I'm not clear on why this was the first notion to enter my brain, but I think it's all to do with light and shadow. Standing high above in shadow grants the audience member a sense of power and agency through anonymity. They could remain in the darkness, watching the performance and never need to reveal their identity to those on stage.

The prospective inductee will be tested, put through the rites of our sacred and distinguished order, watched - and judged - from above until such a time as the elders deem their efforts satisfactory or beyond hope for success.

You know, that sort of thing.

I made a comment to Kayla (nickname to emerge in time) about the vibe and she responded jokingly with something along the lines of, "I know, I'm not sure about being here anymore." At first I thought it weird that another person had the same instant sensation of the space, but then I noticed there were two naked dudes, standing motionless on the stage below. She might have been referring to that.

Whatever was going on, the feeling only lasted a moment before we were descending the creaking, wooden, spiral stairs to the seating. And now that I'm thinking about it, we were underground. Just in a big, finished pit with wooden causeways surrounding us. Cool.

I need to remember all this for when I'm creating a religion. There was so much vibing through the room that I feel some aspects of it could easily be played with and made into part of a temple or some such thing. I should mention the religious plans are for a novel (the main deity is a wild boar!) and I am not recruiting followers.
(Although as always feel free to send me money and gifts at your leisure.)

The naked fellows were the first act, John Oswald and Sean Ling. The piece was all about tension and anticipation and also an aesthetic appreciation of the human form. The whole thing took place vary slowly, except for one brief 'fall', and there was really nothing else for it but to watch the muscles at work, doing what they're meant to do. Simple, interesting and not destined to become a feature length film.

Also, it reminded me that nudity has it's place in art and the world at large. So, to all the people who have expressed concern about my past exploits, maybe I just needed a better venue. Well, I definitely needed a better venue. One with fewer than 8000 seats ideally. And I'm not saying the pants are coming off any time soon, it's very likely that they never will, just that sometimes pants come off.

Facts of life people!

Bob and Becky did little performances, along with their hosting duties, which focused on combining comedy and music. There was one live duet with Becky sleeping and playing the accordion while Bob played guitar and sang, but my favourite was the video duet. Bob exercised some of his filmmaker chops, playing live with a bunch of edited Beckys on screen who handled percussion etc. The multi-media nature of Bob's performances always pleases me (well, the two times I've seen him perform I've been impressed).

Hmm, I don't know how to segue here. How about you go to the next room and when you come back I'll be talking about another one of the acts.

John Porter makes 8mm films and performs along with them. I don't think I can evoke the hilarity of a man in a cowboy costume with cap guns having a shoot-out with a lady on screen, you just need to know it was great. As were his other bits of wonder. Sure, many people today can make a youtube video and post it online, but the theatricality that comes from watching a short film live with other people while it interacts with a performer on stage...it's something else.

Helen Donnelly was there to do some of her amazing clowning, on this evening appearing as Foo. And oh man!

I've been developing an interest in clowning lately, both because of the physical nature of the performance and what I've learned about how one develops a clown character.

Physical performance intrigues me. I don't know if I'm better at physical or verbal performance (how distinct can they be?), but I know I'm more likely to commit to physical performance. I haven't done any purely physical performance so the assertion is largely based on how I dance; i.e. with a certain vigor. I don't second-guess myself when I'm dancing and accept every move I make, even the stumbles. And if I figure I'm being watched that's likely to make me put even more effort into it.

That sort of freedom and comfort is what I hope to eventually achieve with improv as a whole, but in the meantime, clowning seems to provide a chance to explore the physical side of things. It might help me with nuance so my physicality is about more than just gigantic, ridiculous moves, impressive simply because few others are willing to try them.

Oh, and it'd probably be good to learn how to interact with someone physically too. While I can dance there's not always the highest degree of control. Put another person near me and there's a chance they'll get cracked in the skull.

The other main interest I have in clowning (besides the nose) is the character development. To my understanding one's clown character is meant to be an extension of the performer. As a performer you do your best to find a core essence or trait and then you emphasize and expand it to absurd proportions.

A lot of my performance work in the past year has been about trying to find out more about me and get better at things that I feel deficient in. I'm still not totally clear who I am (whatever that means), and while I'm not saying clowning will be an epiphany for me, it should be loads of self-exploratory fun.

Foo's performance was great by the way. It was the story of a clown and her sausage and it did a wonderful job of revealing what clowning can be when done well. Given an absurd premise, a skilled clown goes about telling a story that entertains, but also revels in honest emotions.

What is LIFE if not a bucket of ridiculousness that's been left to fester on a porch for too long on the hottest day in the summer? I ask you! Clowns take that crazy shit we all deal with, dial it up to a billion six on the nutso meter, then deal with it using the same gamut of emotions us regular people have available.


I've been trying to explain this with more clarity and less schmaltz for half an hour. Basically, we all deal with the ludicrous in our daily lives and all we can do is keep moving forward, forming relationships, being with one another, living, loving and all that jazz.

Good work clown.

Beautiful stuff.

Phew. I'll close by saying everyone in the show was great. It's always cool to see people creating and giving their all.

...and I just remembered two more things I need to mention.

PDF Format was great and even if his music was crap (it wasn't) the fact he's written two complete rock operas is awesome.

And I would be remiss not to mention Kathleen Phillips. She did a character piece, a dead singer from the 70s, who revealed the secret of life to one and all. Heaven, it turns out, is a waiting room where you sit until you're called to meet God (I've forgotten his name, Doug or Dan or something). God's job is to send you down a chute in a potato sack, and after riding that chute for days, weeks or however long it takes you'll arrive backstage at a show; one that you'll be performing at.

You go out, you do your ten minutes and that's the end of it.

It turns out life is about making sure you have 10 minutes of solid, ready to perform material so when you die you'll be ready for the final show. Go practice everybody.

I do no justice to the brilliance on stage that evening. Support your local arts scene!



Having a blog is great because there is always something to say.

Here's some of Toon's fine work. Sheesh, it sure was great when spring was here.

Oh well. Soon enough it will return.

Maybe those glasses, with that mustache, not such a good idea?
Big news for me today is of course the purchase of a bed!!!

I took a photo but it looks like nothing special and I don't feel inclined towards a proper photo shoot, so instead I will describe the bed.

First it isn't actually a bed. Just a box spring and mattress. This constitutes 'bed' in my mind because I have spent so much of my life on a single mattress on the floor. Also, my new sleeping height will be higher than what it was with my previous, little bed. Two good reasons for declaring bed-dom.

Both box spring and mattress are a pleasing shade of blue. The bed's size is "double" or "full". Basically a queen that is less 6 inches for both length and width. I bought it from the Thrift Store (NEW!) for $250 plus taxes. What a deal!

I know this because I went to both Sleep Country and The Brick to determine their wares and consider pricing. The best I found was $580 ish plus taxes. Not really worth it, especially when I don't understand all the high end technology I'd be paying for. Mattresses with reinforced edges, silver oxide (???) to stop dust mites and body smells, and a variety of coils and squishy bits for oh so much comfort.

Do you know there's a mattress called The Concrete that was introduced to the Canadian market around 1997 when all sorts of Hong Kongers were coming here; a group that carries a demographic preference for a really solid sleep platform.

After being offered a rolling fashion rack to transport my purchases home, and deciding against it, I was given Kimo's number. Kimo delivered me and the bed home.

Kimo's normal gig is delivering vegetables and fruit, hence his large truck (still with a few veggies when my bed went in).

Kimo often delivers to restaurants. Sometimes they need tomatoes, sometimes they need potatoes. Kimo will be there.

Kimo usually finishes his food industry work around 2.

Kimo sometimes moves couches from the Thrift Store, sometimes beds. Whatever.

Kimo bought the same bed a year ago and he is very pleased with it.

Kimo feels fuel prices are too high and is happy to have a diesel truck (1999 model, bought used).

Kimo has some friends who worked on this building:
It's a new building. I assume he was telling me this because of its Victorian architectural features.

Kimo did not reveal how he became the default Thrift Store delivery man.

I enjoyed my brief encounter with Kimo and hope he continues to enjoy what seems to be a tremendous existence.

Tomorrow I plan to buy proper sheets. Also an under sheet.

To dispose of my last bed I set it out on the street. Toronto's garbage pick-up is great. You just leave your over-sized trash on the street and they pick it up! Probably easier for the city to do that than fight random dumping.

I left the bed standing tall, thinking it would be more visible to prospective walk-bys. The wind blew it over, however, and Annie found it leaning against a car when she went snack shopping. Leaning right into the dents it had made.

After much soul searching and rounds of advice that all pointed toward saying nothing, I did just that.

Sorry friend. Cost of owning a car I suppose.

I guess, now that I'm writing I may as well mention other things going on in my life...I did some shifts at BCPV over March Break. In costume! Long days but fun. Maybe I should write a blog post on the fun I had. More work coming up.

I've also been going to lots of amazing comedy and theatre shows. Maybe I should write a blog post on one of those as well.

Holy jumpin', once the writing starts, look out!



A quick heads up before we begin, there's a whole lot of self-indulgent self-analysis in here. A lot of words too. No pictures. You have been warned.

Patience is a virtue, I want to be virtuous, therefore I need to be more patient? Flawed logic and mathematics!

I'm experimenting with patience of late, and it's tough, but I figure in the long run it should be beneficial.

The way I figure, developing better patience will help in a bunch of ways, but mainly it should help me deal with my ongoing dilemma of how to exist in now time.

When making a choice the past sometimes has too much say, while possible futures emerge in a cavalcade of thunderous distraction, too often leaving me lost and with no decision at all. Patience, hopefully, allows me to make decisions on a shorter term and utilitarian basis, or even just let me sit in the now and enjoy more moments as they happen.

The future will arrive regardless, and I need to stop running at it and letting it over-influence decisions. Especially since most of the possible futures I come up with aren't set in jello, let alone stone!


Let's illustrate with examples shall we?

With improv I've recently chosen to sign up for a class that might not advance my theatrical aspirations **cough** as directly as another. As per usual these aspirations are vague; get into the Macro Neato cast in the short term and just get better at improv in the long term. Realizing that working toward these things can't actually be rushed took a lot of pressure off my class choice, and let me take the one I wanted for other reasons.

Now I get more time to play with friends on Sundays; salt water pool swims, saunas, all the stuff that's important in my life right now.

It also helped to realize that my internal debate was prefaced by the false notion that I KNEW which class would be better. I didn't and don't. Alongside patience, constantly reminding myself how little I know about all aspects of life seems like a good idea; just because I think it, doesn't make it true.

On a slight side note, I've also become more realistic with where I might go with improv. I remain positive about it but also know that I need to treat improv as a fun thing, not a "gotta be the best at this now" thing. Too often I've watched amazing improvisers and wonder how to get that good fast (the whole distracted by the future problem), until recently when I started getting my head around the reality that these people are not only talented, but have been working hard for WAY more than my 8 months. Obvious, I know, but ol' lizard cerebellum has never been one to care about reality.

As straightforward as it is, it's about patience and hard work, and whatever skillZ I have will make themselves apparent in time.

Patience is also great when it comes to my reading habits. For the past few months I've had a heap of books beside my bed on a variety of topics that, while interesting, were starting to stress me out. There were just too many pages!

Despite previous efforts I now understand I likely won't ever know all of all. I'm just not that clever and my eyes just aren't that big. So, the new patient plan is stop going library crazy, read when I have time and interest and not force myself into something that I think I should know.

Why was I reading a blog about Yemeni focused foreign policy for months? Why did I think an intense week's worth of reading and writing poetry would move me forward in a significant way if I was going to burn myself out and revert to a null-state immediately after?

I don't know.

And finally, patience might come in handy mit die Frauen.

I realized recently I haven't had a proper crush in a while. I'm wary of crushes and can't bring myself to trust them. Let me see if I can explain why and then make a guess as to how patience helps with these most pressing dilemmas.

At times, crushes, healthy or not, arrive and leave like farts in the wind, but other times they maintain and embed in my skull. Even when I can rationally recognize their hopelessness, certain crushes become self-perpetuating and drive me to actions and decisions that don't make sense and I have no desire to participate in. These eventually end when I'm inspired to do something so dumb that afterwards I feel like a being made of nothing but awkward ridiculous, and as a result I'm finally able to move on because of the sheer self-embarrassment of it all.

They start for all sorts of reasons. Physical attraction, an amazing personality, what someone is doing with their life, or my favourite, those that stem from my amazingly susceptible to suggestion self:

You say she likes me? I've always hated her soul, but maybe...

On top of this, if the person is already a friend I get to hack my way through all the above while considering the relative benefits, or not, of changing or risking pre-established relationships. And ALL OF THIS doesn't even consider what the crushee might feel about the whole thing, how they might react and so on.

Basically I get stressed because I'm never sure if a crush is a legit feeling or an infatuation that will be supplanted at any moment; am I interested for the right reasons, or am I going into this lying to her and myself from the start?

This is not an exhaustive list of what I take into account, and it varies from case to case, but you get the idea. After all, I'm sure you all have similar fun-time mental parties too.

I figure though, once again, patience can be a great help in all of this.

Wait it out a bit and shallow infatuations can reveal themselves. Or maybe the crushee ends up with someone else. THAT'S ALWAYS SO MUCH FUN.

I'm not saying I should pine from the bushes until the moment is lost. Instead it's about accepting that not all needs to be clarified immediately. In the past the urge to clarify something, discuss it with friends, look for advice, and act (always act) hasn't helped. It's like once the possible future has been imagined I want to make it real or destroy it as fast as possible.

If it works out, great, but if not then at least I have narrowed an infinity of possible by one.

And even if patience solves nothing, or only reveals the futility of a notion, at least it allows me to live in a moment for a time. Crushes are great because they hold so much promise. When you're sitting in their midst you get to revel in the magic and take time to imagine what might be. By forcing a resolution you miss the chance to soak.

If nothing is going to come of a crush I'll find that out eventually, and in the meantime I get to discover what's great about a person, laugh at their jokes, be amazed by their passions, and maybe, JUST maybe, share an amazing kiss that was months in the making.


Heh, and again, when you don't know what you want it's tough to ask someone to be interested. Unless they're into ephemeral boyfriends.

Frantically trying to find the way to an unknown goal doesn't help.

Breathing helps.

Observing helps.

Learning helps.

Realizing that no matter what opportunities were missed in the past and what the future might smack you in the jaw with there will be another day to sort it all out helps.

Unless the earth explodes.


map cuts!

Holy smokes! So many people are into maps. It's great!
Daydream sent me this link from boingboing.

This Karen O'Leary lady has done so many of these things I don't know where to begin.

Here's a Vancouver piece from her Etsy page (Etsy of course being an online fashion/art/handmade stuff marketplace that comes highly recommended by Ms Fascinator, amongst others).
On this one it looks like she has used an actual map and simply cut out all the bits that aren't roads, really showing how it's the roads that tie the city together. Cut the other way and remove the roads and all you have is a bunch of squares floating to the ground.

But if it's the roads that are holding the city together shouldn't we be making more efforts to ensure roads are given over to people, not cars? Of course we should. It seems dumb to exclude the actors that bring life to the city from the physical space wherein the city's component parts are secured to one another. I'm not saying ban cars, just think about it for a moment and you'll catch my drift.
According to her description this map of Paris is made with heavier stock, watercolour paper. I assume she traced everything on then went about cutting it in the same way.
And again, something similar with New York. This is one from a set covering the whole city and is apparently done on lighter paper.

There are a whole whack more of these on her Flickr.
NYC again.

Keen, really just keen.

She also does some in pen and paper.
Great. And then she can put them onto cards, magnets, etc.

I'm super glad this was sent to me. These pieces are great and show me some possibilities. I've been chopping up a few things lately (I need a better knife and chopping surface) but the idea to remove most things and leave only roads in situ never crossed my mind.

I skipped right past that step and have been thinking about manipulating roads. Cutting them from their surrounds but instead of leaving them, changing their configuration, hopefully so that the roads themselves are still recognizable while their form has gone haywire. I suppose that might mean they will become unrecognizable, but I guess that can be part of the fun too. Make an interesting and aesthetically pleasing image, using a map as material, and only later upon closer inspection will people realize that they're looking at something familiar.

Heh. I should DO that, then I won't need to wonder such things. I wonder if that idea would work better with a a provincial road map or a city street? Oh! Or if I used one of those map books for a city that are done with a large scale. Go from page to page, following a road, then mounting it somehow. Anyway...thoughts from my brain.

I'm reading a few of the comments people are posting below the boingboing article, asking whether the pieces are diminished if they were laser instead of hand cut. I don't have an answer to that, but I'll admit there were moments when I was drawing this map
that I was wondering if it wouldn't be better to just learn AutoCAD instead. Probably not. It's about the process after all and it's not like I'm interested in efficiency! Although now that I have my map in digital form I'll likely manipulate it eventually.

I suppose if I keep going with evenly measured maps then a computer construction might make more sense, but it's not like I could make this with a computer.
Why would I want to? As this marker on construction paper monstrosity and Ms O'Leary's efforts at hatching a city show, there is so much fun to be had with variety in making and manipulating maps. So, computers? Whatever!

That's enough from me, but in closing I'll mention that I recently made a connection between why I like maps and how I interact with the world more generally, but I'm not telling you yet. Hint: it's about the big picture!


Maps I have dug out

Clean wall in the living room needed some decorating and this is the result.

After much searching I settled on this map of Morocco.
Look at those big bold colours.

I also cut this little dootle bopper out of a larger tourist pamphlet.
It's in a frame but isn't hung yet. We'll figure something out, although it looks lovely just like this.
I also found a really great early 1970s street map of Chicago, but it is too big and a bit flimsy for a wall hanging without modification.

That's the tough thing about some of these maps. I have them in a box and they should be seen, or else what's the point? But is it worth displaying them if they might be damaged in the process? And some of them are really big and not suitable for normal sized walls.

I liked the Post Houses series above because I cut it out of a pamphlet that would have been too big to show otherwise. I'm going to continue doing this, cutting interesting portions from boring maps and displaying them either alone or perhaps start working on map collage projects.


Man am I lazy when it comes to blogging. I have a post I've been working on about patience, but it's taking me forever to finish. So, I guess...keep waiting for it?


In regular life I was fitted today for the costume I'll be wearing over March Break at BCPV. Bring on the wee ones!

Daydream brought me too much meat from chef school and now I'm tired. Stupid late afternoon meat naps. THE WORST!